Shah Rukh Khan bats for regional cinema

Mumbai: Supporting the demand of prime slots for Marathi movies in multiplexes, Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan today said importance should be given to promotion and encouragement of regional cinema in the country.

The 44-year-old actor, who was targeted by the Shiv Sena during the release of his latest blockbuster `My Name Is Khan`, said regional films are made with a small budget and should be encouraged more.

"I am speaking as a film person and do not want to get into the political agenda," he said.

"I watch regional movies in Malayalam and Marathi on DVD at home. Even though language is a problem, I feel the best stories on celluloid come from the regional industry. If the DVDs are brought out with sub-titles, the films would get more exposure," the actor said.

Shah Rukh said it was the duty of the Mumbai film industry to support the cinema belonging to the region.

To a question on whether he knows Marathi and would learn to speak the language as his contemporary Aamir Khan is doing, Shah Rukh said he was bad with languages.

"My children speak it very well and hopefully they will teach me," he added.

A delegation of Marathi film makers and artists met Maharashtra deputy chief minister Chhagan Bhujbal recently, demanding multiplex owners screen stipulated number of Marathi film shows and also during prime time slots.

MNS and Shiv Sena are also demanding prime slots for Marathi movies at the multiplexes.


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